The Thrift

So I’ve amassed quite the collection of handbags through my thrifting adventures. I don’t know how it happened but lately I’ve struck gold in the handbag department. A Christian Dior limited edition straw woven bag for the summer, a made in Italy Coach satchel, Bottega Veneta jute woven bag also for the summer and finally a Longchamp nylon tote that is all the rage in Manhattan for commuters so I’m right in style. Some of these bags I find have never been used. It’s crazy to me anyway. I’m such a (self titled) bag whore that I can’t imagine getting rid of any of the ones I’ve found while thrifting. It really is true that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. And before you ask, yes I will use each and every bag~I like to change bags often.

I’m not a one borough thrifter. I love thrifting in Manhattan as well as where I live. I find bargains in Manhattan too. At first I figured I wouldn’t find anything or that things would be overpriced but it isn’t so. Items are priced just as reasonable in Manhattan as they are here. Of course it depends on the store. There are certain chains of thrift stores that benefit a specific cause that I find to be expensive so of course I avoid those stores. I even thrifted in North Carolina while on vacation. A good friend and I hit every store on a major highway at the Outer Banks after sightseeing one day.  I found nothing! No, wait I did find a sweater but it fell apart when I washed it so there you go; nothing. I was so bummed.

I really enjoy the thrill of the hunt. There are plenty of second hand “Thrift” stores online but I prefer finding my own treasures at a store or at a yard sale.  My siblings and I grew up going to yard sales and thrift stores with our Grandfather. He was always finding some “treasure” to bring home. He loved to collect Avon bottles. They were figurines with cologne inside, usually. He even installed a ton of shelving in his basement to display those beloved Avon figures. Unfortunately no one else in the family (that I know of) shared his love of Avon. I have at least one daughter who loves handbags as much as I do thank goodness, so there’s a shared appreciation. My late Aunt Marge was another thrifter. She had a gift of finding gold jewelry. It was like she just knew by looking at a bracelet, ring, etc…that it was worth something.  She was so funny and would always rejoice with you over a good find. As I write this I realize I’m in great company family wise for thrifting. However, I don’t think my husband will install extra shelving in the basement for my handbags.




I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?

Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?”  What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?

I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves.  But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…”  No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.

Adventures at the flea market

I almost forgot to write about the flea market I was a vendor at a couple of weeks ago. I figured it would be worth it to rent a space and try and get my business cards and my name out there.  I set up my space with all my merchandise which consists of pre-owned clothing, shoes and handbags ( is my website).  I was by myself of I would have set up a tent to keep the sun at bay.  I was fortunate that the next space over was a lovely retired couple selling Royal Dalton figurines along with some various yard sale nick knacks.

I thought I came prepared.  I had merchandise, change, I brought my lunch and water bottles.  I even had a comfy chair.  People are funny at flea markets I’ve concluded.  They do not want to talk or chit chat.  They just want to look over your “stuff”.  Most people didn’t even respond when I said, “Hi how are you?”  Strange I tell you.  Anyway I said I thought I was prepared.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the haggling!  Man.  When asked a price I was immediately met with an answer of half my price.  Half!  That’s not haggling that’s insulting.  I would shoot back another price just as fast.  I became a quick learner. I also learned to start higher on my pricing strategy and stay firm.

It was also the best opportunity for people watching. I loved seeing the couple next to me deal with hagglers. At one point the wife became annoyed over a customer haggling her over a dollar for a set of drinking glasses. Seriously? Yes the hagglers became amusement. It was also noticed that the nicer someone dressed was NO indication of whether or not they would spend money. A well dressed mother/daughter pair carrying expensive handbags was very quick to literally paw through my merchandise and not buy a single thing. Meanwhile, the more modest dressed customers were much more polite (still haggled me) but were more likely to buy. I thought that was interesting.

I am planning to attend another similar flea market next month. I can say this time I’ll be even more prepared and I hope not to get as haggled down again.